Recently, I cleaned out my closet, and rid myself of all of the clothes that I hadn’t worn in a few years, or clothes that just didn’t suit me for one reason or the other — too modern, too short, too big, too bland, whatever. I laid a hard rule that if it didn’t fit right, or it wasn’t quite retro enough, it had to go. I got rid of about 2 large trash bags full of clothes, which was quite nice!
But I still have a massive closet full of dresses and skirts, and I’m still not sure what my real direction is with style. I’ve struggled with this for… always, actually. As much as I absolutely adore full-on retro 1950’s or 1940’s style, I don’t think it’s quite for me. And I also love pattern mixing, but most of the time it seems too fussy. And I adore color, but too much gets me overwhelmed. And I love wearing scarves and flowers in my hair, but sometimes it’s too twee. So what, really am I looking for in style?
To help me figure out where my sweet spot is with colorful, retro, pattern-mixed outfits, I went through the last three years of my style and picked out the outfits I’ve worn over the last few years that I absolutely, positively adore. Here’s what I came up with:
1. I am definitely a bit of a hippie/boho lover, which was surprising. These looks are my FAVORITE. I remember feeling perfect in all of these looks. I love the look of long, slightly messy flowing hair, quirky braids, and simple outfits made to pop with a cozy graphic/Indian print sweater or cardigan, and head adornments. Currently, actually, I am coveting two graphic print sweaters (1,2) that I plan to snatch if they’re still available when I can get them, and both would fit perfectly with this theme.
2. I love me some good florals! This one is blatantly obvious, especially if you look through my closet. About half of my 50+ dresses are floral. It’s ridiculous. But with all of these, I noticed that I tend to like the floral looks best if I keep all of the accessories and other garments simple or plain. And most of these ones are also tinged with a little bit of boho flavor. Go figure.
3. I like simplicity. Although I adore going full vintage-look, as I did with this red eShakti dress, I prefer my retro looks to be much more about the hint of retro rather than the whole shebang. This combo of plain tee+full skirt is probably my go-to look. All a girl needs is great shoes, a good skirt, and a simple tee shirt. I could live in any of these looks happily for the rest of my life. They’re a little bit retro housewife, without being blatantly 50’s or overdone and fussy, and that really appeals to me!
4. And, of course, when I do mix patterns and colors, I like to do it simply. A big pattern, pops of color, and maybe one small, hardly noticeable other pattern added in. I’ve never liked going all neutral, as you can see, but one shot of color does wonders for an outfit. And I’m much more open to wearing mostly neutrals than I used to be, now that I know simplicity appeals to me.
So, overall, I like things to be easy, unfussy, and flowing. A main color, with a bit of retro boho feel, one noticeable pattern, with a full skirt or dress, or long cardigan, and simple shapes. I realized looking through these that I am not a big jewelry person — I like stud earrings, and maybe a good necklace now and then… but overall, these looks are relatively jewelry-free, or have only one piece of jewelry (other than my wedding ring). I like having a good two-tone color scheme, with colors that are close on the color wheel. And mostly, I prefer my hair down and naturally styled.
Having looked through my style archives, I now think the five words to describe my style would be: boho/retro, feminine, simple, flowing, and quirky. Going forward, I will refer back to this post to add pieces to my wardrobe; I still love the retro looks, but toned down. I think with every look, there has to be an element of practicality, especially as a mom! But mostly, I don’t like to look too perfect, too done. I like to have slightly messy hair, slightly undone makeup, slightly less-styled outfits… I don’t like perfection.
Also, I wear a lot of yellow. I think it might be my second-favorite color. Incidentally, these shoes are now on their way to me in the mail, and I cannot WAIT to get them!
So, what do you think? What helped you reach your current style? What five words describe you?
I hope you are all having a great Friday!